What's most important thing you look for in an insurer? It may not come as a news flash that general insurance customers are mainly worried about whether the insurance company is trustworthy and will pay a claim when the time comes.
How much your car, home and contents, travel, or pet insurance costs is important, but it's secondary. The same holds true for other kinds of general insurance.
Trust is particularly important with car insurance, where policyholders make the highest number of claims.
How do we know? We asked. CHOICE surveyed 2,892 consumers across all states and territories between August and November 2016 (a combination of a CHOICE member panel and an external sample*).
The insurers who rated the highest in our survey across a range of insurance products did so on the basis of trust, reliability and claims handling.
So who's the most trusted insurer?
- RAA, SGIC and RACQ were the top performing insurers across their range of products, exceeding the expectations of more than one third of their policyholders – RAA, 40%, SGIC, 39%, RACQ 34%.
- RAA and SGIC had the highest proportion of current policyholders of various types who said they would renew, 69% and 61% respectively.
Not so happy customers
- Budget Direct had the poorest renewal rate, with just 1 in 3 likely to renew.
- Almost one in four NRMA policyholders in our survey has held a policy with the insurer for more than 20 years.
- RACV was close behind, with 19% of their policyholders holding a policy for more than 20 years.
Home and car claims
- For home insurance, APIA and AAMI come out on top, with 53% of claimants having their expectations exceeded (i.e. rated them 9 or 10 out of 10).
- For comprehensive car insurance, the best performer was RACQ, with 72% of claimants rating the insurer a 9 or 10 (out of 10) for exceeding their expectations.
Which insurance groups did we ask about?
(Note: Many of these parent companies sell insurance policies under different brand names, but would have the same back office administrative staff to handle claims and other customer services.)
- Coles Insurance
- Budget Direct
- QBE (Western QBE)
- Travel Insurance Direct
- Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency – APIA
- Insure and Go
- Medibank Private
- Southern Cross Travel Insurance
*66% (or 1908) of survey respondents were CHOICE research panel members. For insurers to be reported on, a minimum sample of at least 30 policyholders or claimants was required per insurer.
Stock images: Getty unless otherwise stated.